• Modern fishway is essential for dam’s future

    After following The Ellsworth American’s coverage of the fish kills at the Leonard Lake Dam, resulting letters to the editor and commentaries and the recent articles “The future of the Union River Dam” and “Dam still a vital part of Ellsworth,” I am compelled to respond because the discussion has moved far off topic.

  • Memo to Susan Collins: Public service and private interest

    By Peter Sly In June 1950, Margaret Chase Smith, Republican senator from Maine, issued a “Declaration of Conscience” about the abuse of power and privilege in the Senate. Her target: Sen. Joe McCarthy. While she criticized Democrats, she had unrelenting ire for Republican efforts to ride the “Four Horsemen of Calumny – Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry

  • It’s time to choose, Sen. Collins

    By Alan Lieberman On Jan. 9, Sen. Collins formally introduced Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing to become attorney general of the United States. My purpose in writing is to draw attention to what some might consider a trivial comment by a Republican “spokeswoman” in reaction to the protest by Maine citizens of

  • Zero gee and I feel fine … Remembering John Glenn

    By Glenn A. Marsch The man for whom I was named has died. John Glenn, the last of the Mercury astronauts, died on Dec. 9 at age 95. Five decades ago he was launched atop a refurbished Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile that had originally been designed to hurl hydrogen bombs at the Soviet Union. The

  • Local marijuana regulatory options

    By Lynne Williams Last month, all of the Mount Desert Island towns voted in favor of Measure 1, the legalization of adult use of cannabis, as did Trenton and all of the Hancock County offshore islands. Clearly there is significant support in our neck of the woods. As general counsel for Legalize Maine, and one

  • The snow day hack

    By Todd R. Nelson Vlad was sitting in his private study in the Kremlin burnishing a massive snow globe. Inside the glowing orb were miniature American cities. He shook it again vigorously, then watched with glee as the snowflakes buried the Empire State Building, the Capitol and Washington Monument. He kept muttering, “Deeper, deeper.” His

  • Commentary: Open the door to Bethlehem

    Gift boxes sparkling with glitter, pine-scented boughs wrapped in silky red ribbons and bags of perfumed paper fill shopping carts to overflowing. It is the week before Christmas, and everyone in Bangor, Ellsworth and Bar Harbor is at the mall, eagerly hunting for bargains trimmed in gold and silver and stamped with the words “Peace”

  • Commentary: A poem a day

    When he was poet laureate, Billy Collins created “Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry.” It’s an anthology of “contemporary poems,” enough for one on each school day (with a few to spare, in our case). His goal was to freshen up the perception of poetry by collecting new voices and varied topics, have poems

  • Union River’s future is at a crossroads

    There is a great wall in downtown Ellsworth. Looking north from the Route 1 bridge you can barely see the 65-foot concrete dam that divides the tide waters of the Union River with its upper watershed. If you paddle up the river or walk the banks behind the library it is clearly visible, and if